News Local Limassol leads in vehicle thefts

Limassol leads in vehicle thefts

More than 350 vehicles are stolen in Cyprus every year, two thirds of them are later found by police. Some are never found, either because they end up at the bottom of a dam, are driven across into the Turkish occupied north, used in criminal activity and then torched or taken to pieces for spare parts.

According to a report by Phileleftheros’ police correspondent Michalis  Hadjivassilis, car thieves have a preference for certain makes.

Police figures show that 360 vehicles were stolen in 2018, of which 276 were later found. In 2017, 356 were stolen and 233 found and in 2016, of the 306 vehicles stolen only 188 were returned to their owners. The same pictures holds for 2015, when there were 321 vehicle thefts of which 157 were found and in 2014, of the 405 vehicles stolen only about half were found.

The most car thefts occurred in Limassol: in fact the town accounted for nearly half the vehicles stolen.

Last year, of the 360 vehicle thefts, 151 were in Limassol, 75 in Nicosia, 83 in Paphos, 40 in Larnaca and 11 in the Famagusta area.

Vehicles are found either by chance, after police inquiries or during police patrols using registration plate recognition technology or after a tip off. Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said that once a vehicle is reported stolen, police mobilise because there are suspicions it may be used for a crime and traffic patrols and the checkpoints and informed. He said most of the vehicles stolen are used for burglaries and thefts.

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